YourTango polled some of its women readers and overwhelming found that the majority feel couples should be together during the holidays instead of going their separate ways. Instead of dealing with holiday stress and family drama, no matter if it’s Christmas or Cinco de Mayo, make it your own special day to celebrate. Hitting that first holiday as a couple is a milestone that says you’re officially a couple who’s ready to honor each other’s traditions and sentiments.
But do you know where to start? From gift-giving to travel, navigating the holidays can be a roller-coaster ride of emotions. Jump into the couple holiday spirit with a few tips.
Toast Your Happiness With a Cocktail
Take the pressure off and start your holidays with a fun and easy cocktail. Grab some Ketel One and brush up on your YouTube watching to learn how to concoct the perfect holiday drink. Remember to make it festive with specific holiday glasses and garnishes. For example, go all green for Saint Patrick’s Day and red, white and blue for the Fourth of July. Better yet, pair it with a homemade, gourmet meal and learn how to cook your new signature holiday dish together.
Start a New Tradition
You are both coming into the relationship with holiday traditions you’ve had since you were kids. Celebrate your new status as couple with a holiday tradition of your own. If you’re both religious, pick a service to attend and follow it up with an afternoon hike or nice meal to reflect.
But if neither of you are religious or practice different beliefs, start something totally new that is special to the two of you. Rent a limo and cruise around your city at night before dinner at a posh restaurant and a penthouse hotel stay. For something less decadent, try a brand new experience together, such as taking a painting or glass-blowing class, going horseback riding or sitting on the roof with hot coffee and watching the sunrise. Whatever you choose to do, honor it as a tradition for two.
Take a Trip
New couples are often faced with choosing whether or not to go home for the holidays or doing something solo. If you’re taking a holiday trip to visit family, schedule in plenty of couple time and do something just for the two of you. Manage expectations early, so no one expects the holidays to be the same drill as years prior.
If you decide to skip the family drama altogether, book a trip to a bed and breakfast, nearby city or waterfront getaway. Remember trip planning can feel hectic, so think about the type of experience you want. The point of a getaway is to be together, so don’t over-schedule and go over the top without time to soak in each other’s company.
Lay the Ground Rules
Don’t assume that your other half is on the same page as you about gifts and celebrations. His or her idea of a wonderful holiday together may be a dinner and a movie at home while yours is painting the town. The same goes with gifts. Don’t slave over every last detail of the perfect gift before knowing if your significant other is into presents. Lay some ground rules including how to budget your time and resources, your ideas of a perfect time together and who is responsible for what. The sooner you can get on the same page, the sooner you can enjoy your first holiday together.
Think back to this time last year. Were you with family or friends during the holiday? Or were you flying solo and enjoying time alone? Either way, take a moment to soak up the feeling of being with someone you love and starting a new journey together. Getting to that first holiday is a big milestone and should be celebrated accordingly. Tell your other half what they mean to you and reflect on some of the finer points of your relationship to remind each other of how far you’ve come.